Laugh and Learn - Confessions of an Elementary School Teacher

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She quite understandably lacked the patience to have the sort of boring and repetitive conversations I could sustain in Chinese day in and day out. We started out speaking English but when we went to his hometown, he said it felt too weird speaking english there so we started speaking chinese and it kind of stuck. So funny, but through that I know you are all working hard to learn Chinese.

As a Chinese people, I feel very proud. But tell you the truth, when Chinese people learn English, also feel very frustration. Some of your sound is very difficult to pronounce. I was very shy when I firstly started to learn English. After I listened and listened, I begin to guess what are they talking about through some key words.

by Megan Broderick

The first day, just terrible. When I use the computer, all English language. At the end of the day, we have a meeing.

Still all English language. Another time, a foreign teacher tell me Jacky got chickenpox. But Jacky was not at school in fact. Because our characters are very complicated. Your characters are combined from the 26 alphabet, ours are differently. Sometimes, you even just lose one stroke, it will change to be another word with different meaning.

Great post and comments! Even in languages far closer to English this happens. My misadventures in learning Italian some years ago were numerous- I once, when holding a cigarette, asked a passerby for an elevator ascensore rather than a lighter accendino. I tip my cap to Chinese people, too. I often take Magellan-like routes to get to my point when speaking Mandarin.

The vast, vast majority of Chinese people I encounter patiently discern my meaning and compliment me on my Chinese.

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You really have to give the Chinese on a whole a helluva lot of credit in this regard. I routinely butcher their language and the vast majority are patient and good-humoured about it, even in high-pressure situations. Most definitely the same cannot be said about my compatriots back home in Canada. God forbid you have an accent or broken English that requires a clerk, a customer, or anyone, to have to begin to consider that vanilla-English might creep into their lives. I definitely agree that Chinese are generally amazing about putting up with my savaging of their language — were it not for their goodwill and patience I would probably be living in a ditch outside the 5th ring road.

Finally we hear from a foreign girl who married a Chinese man. My wife always gets tomato and potato mixed up in English. Bees on Mantou haha! I sometimes have difficulty with words ending in an -n sound or -ng e. I would agree with sooooo many of these! Nathan I understand completely about the in-laws! Hahaha… I totally feel you on all the things you say! I think the waitress was cool about it though, but no one could figure out why she got so red until our Chinese friend explained.

Excellent post!!! I think that really is the most interesting part of learning the Chinese language. It seems like a million times that I have known exactly what I wanted to say, already knew the tones and kept on repeating myself over and over again. Not prepared at all. Oh my. Yes Chinese is a very hard language to learn. Like you feel many other students also feel the same, just concentrate and learn you will get it.

Get the Lost Laowai Weekly Newsletter. Founded in , Lost Laowai has been made for and is maintained by China expatriates with a deep interest in China. Sometimes we love it, sometimes we hate it -- but never does this country fail to captivate us. I once got frost nip on my toes from studying for too long in my unheated Chinese apartment. The waiter got angry. I feel both relieved and frustrated when Chinese people forget how to write a character. When people draw a character on my hand, I really have no idea what character they are writing but I usually pretend that I do.

I learned how to read Chinese characters by text messaging on my cell phone. Same with Pinying. Random I often tell Chinese people their language is stupid. Getting Into Yale is, according to its jacket copy, "the tale of Josh Berezin, who after only one visit, became obsessed with entering the hallowed halls and tree-lined yards of Yale.

Well, he loved the Gothic architecture, and he had a good meal "the best calzone ever " at a restaurant five minutes from campus, and an admissions person told him that Yale students like to argue vehemently and then go out and play Frisbee. Were these arguments perhaps about whether or not to play Frisbee?

Although its rather misleading subtitle—"How One Student Wrote THIS Book and Got Into the School of His Dreams"—suggests that Berezin's admission was the result of a stunt, in fact he had the goods, carrying a healthy number of APs four in his junior year , scoring notably well on his boards all but one of his scores were in the s , and participating on the varsity football and wrestling teams. He did the requisite bit of community service, including a stint with Habitat for Humanity "the most exciting moment was when I got called a 'white bitch' by some kid on a bike" , and also endured an arduous Outward Bound program "I'm talking Deliverance backwoods here".

The most revealing part of the book consists of diary entries, which clearly show just how hard high school students bound for elite colleges must work. The busy roster of extracurricular activities that Berezin pursued during the summer after his junior year was brutal enough "For the past four days I've been running from football to the ghetto and back again". But the demands of the coursework itself are what really command attention. Late one night in the midst of his studies he wonders,.

Students who are up for this kind of rigor should consider doing several things. The second thing applicants ought to consider seriously is that it's a great big PC world out there in Ivy-admissions land, and they can either get hip or go to State.

Trust – Confessions of a Former Instructional Coach

Rachel Toor seems to think that her progressive social views—which she showcases to a curious degree in the book—put her in the minority among admissions people at elite colleges, but this was not my experience of these people as I came to know them during school visits and conventions.

In my experience her viewpoint is the norm rather than the exception. In one sense the fact that such people dominate the field is a good thing. In the past twenty years the elite colleges have made an earnest and highly laudable effort to enroll and graduate significant numbers of black and Hispanic students, and this is the direct result of the hard work and relentless advocacy of people like Rachel Toor.

But many of these people don't begin to acknowledge their own biases. Toor is to be congratulated, for example, for pointing out the greatly disturbing fact that many teachers' recommendations for female African-American students describe the students physically, with terms such as "beautiful," "striking," "elegant," and "statuesque.

But Toor herself describes an applicant whom she has encountered in an interview thus: "She is exquisitely and expensively dressed in a pearl-pink linen sheath. Her shiny WASP-straight hair is pulled into an elegant bun, her makeup simple, emphasizing her natural beauty. In evaluating students' extracurricular activities Toor is "personally most turned off by Junior Statesmen of America and by kids who started investment clubs at their schools.

Get a clue, kid! Dump the Statesmen! Enroll in a women's-studies class—I don't care if you have to take two buses to get there. In fact, get to know the people on the bus and become incensed about their oppression but not so incensed that you liberate the housekeeper while Mom's tied up in moot court. Being in a program where we literally only speak Chinese to teachers, to each other, etc.

Especially the spoonerisms. I went on to try and justify my original sentence, to no avail. I completely empathize with you.

Confessions of a DC Teacher

Though the worst thing I ever did for my Chinese was get a Chinese girlfriend who could speak English. I think my writing is neat and clear. My husband always buys both for me just in case. I think he was disappointed when I clarified.

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